Tag Archive | "Ramon Harewood"

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Some draft criticism unfair, but sum of parts still not adding up for Ravens

Posted on 16 January 2018 by Luke Jones

Some of the commentary from Ravens fans watching the divisional round of the playoffs was predictable.

All these years later, some still squawk about general manager Ozzie Newsome selecting Morehouse offensive lineman Ramon Harewood a pick before Pittsburgh took Central Michigan wide receiver Antonio Brown with the 195th overall selection of the 2010 draft. At this point, ESPN might as well make a “30 for 30” special on the two individuals just to torment Ravens fans.

Yes, the Steelers were so much smarter than Baltimore that they passed on the eventual best wide receiver in the NFL eight different times in that draft and took such studs as Crezdon Butler and Stevenson Sylvester before finally grabbing Brown in the sixth round.

It’s no secret that the Ravens could have traded with Dallas in 2016 to move up from the sixth spot to take future Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey fourth overall, but Newsome didn’t want to part with his third-round pick that was used on defensive end Bronson Kaufusi, who’s played all of three games in two years. In a vacuum, it’s easy to call that a bad decision, but let’s remember quarterback Joe Flacco was rehabbing a torn ACL at the time and the Ravens didn’t have a trustworthy left tackle on the roster after the big contract awarded to Eugene Monroe two years earlier had turned out to be such a failure. Even if Ramsey becomes a Hall of Famer and Ronnie Stanley is never anything more than a reliable left tackle, it’s tough to be outraged by such a move if you’re someone who’s also blasted the organization for repeatedly neglecting its offense since Super Bowl XLVII.

Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack intercepting a Ben Roethlisberger pass Sunday prompted some to point out that the Ravens passed on him, electing to trade back two different times to eventually take the disappointing Kamalei Correa in the second round of that same 2016 draft. However, the Ravens were far from the only team to pass on Jack, who was projected by some to be a top 5 pick if not for major concerns about the health of his knee. They also came away with starting outside linebacker Matthew Judon and strong special-teams contributor Chris Moore with those trades while Jack hasn’t been anything more than a solid starter for the Jaguars to this point.

If you really want to be mad about that second round, instead point to the Ravens taking Correa five picks before New Orleans drafted Pro Bowl wide receiver Michael Thomas, who’s caught a whopping 197 passes in his first two years.

And then there’s Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs, the former University of Maryland standout who caught the miracle 61-yard touchdown from Case Keenum to send the Vikings to the NFC championship game. Even before Sunday’s heroics, this one had been reignited by the recent Sports Illustrated article citing Diggs’ mother telling Newsome that he should have been fired for not taking her son.

There’s no question that the Ravens should have had an advantage on intel about a prospect playing 40 miles down the road, but there were fair concerns about Diggs, ranging from his injury history in College Park to questions about his maturity. As a result, this was a player passed over multiple times by every team in the league, so the Ravens weren’t alone and Washington didn’t take the local kid either.

In the same way that I have a difficult time heaping too much praise on the Ravens for “discovering” Alex Collins when they were one of 31 teams who didn’t claim him on waivers at the end of the preseason and initially promoted Jeremy Langford from the practice squad over him, I struggle to criticize the organization too sharply for passing on Diggs — even if you wish they would have taken a chance on him rather than the little-known Tray Walker at the end of that fourth round.

The truth is you can go back in time to any draft and nitpick why Player A was taken over Player B over and over and over. Even after selecting two future Hall of Famers with his first two picks of the 1996 draft, Newsome took underwhelming cornerback DeRon Jenkins six spots before future nine-time Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins went to Philadelphia in the second round.

See how easy that was?

These arguments are easy to make with hindsight and lack context unless you’re talking about a clear-cut example such as two quarterbacks being taken with the first two picks of the draft. Even then, do you ever notice how you struggle to find anyone who would have drafted Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning in 1998 despite that being a major debate at the time? Most critics aren’t so eager to point out the ones they were wrong about years later.

(For the record, I leaned toward Leaf as a know-it-all 14-year-old.)

As much as teams try to make the draft a science, much of it remains art with too many variables to possibly control. Even at their best, the Ravens never batted 1.000 in the draft, so there will always be picks to critique as many are doing now.

The real problem isn’t passing on these aforementioned players, but it’s that the Ravens haven’t been making enough great picks of their own in recent years to make these second-guessing exercises a moot point. At the macro level, it’s more than fair to argue that the Ravens have too frequently played it safe, relied on quantity over quality, and possibly even conformed with too much groupthink in recent drafts.

Sometimes you have to take a risk to come away with a truly great playmaker or two, which is something the Ravens desperately need on the offensive side of the ball and have for a long time now. You also can’t allow a failed pick like Breshad Perriman deter you from being bold when appropriate.

It’s not a secret that the organization has slanted much more toward defense with 13 of their 17 Day 1 and 2 picks since Super Bowl XLVII being on that side of the ball. That’s enough of a lopsided ratio to make you question whether the Ravens are valuing defensive players too much in favor of truly picking “the best player available” when on the clock.

Their recent drafts haven’t been as disastrous as some want to claim — the Ravens have still found plenty of good value in the latter half of drafts despite recent Day 1 and 2 problems — but they’ve merely been much more ordinary after years of the draft being considered a major advantage for Newsome and the Ravens over other teams.

Even if many of the decisions appeared sound at the time, the sum of the parts has still added up to too much mediocrity, the same place the Ravens are trying to escape.

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Ravens part ways with Shiancoe, Harewood in first wave of cuts

Posted on 25 August 2013 by Luke Jones

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Needing to trim their roster to 75 players by Tuesday’ 4 p.m. deadline, the Ravens wasted no time Sunday by parting ways with 12 players including veteran tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and offensive lineman Ramon Harewood.

The timing of the decision to part with Shiancoe is a strong indication that starting tight end Ed Dickson is making strong progress after making his return to the practice field on a limited basis last week. Dickson suffered a partially-torn hamstring on Aug. 4, prompting the Ravens to sign veteran tight end Dallas Clark to improve their depth. Shiancoe had struggled to catch the ball consistently despite a strong performance in the third preseason game, and the Ravens will apparently go with a more blocking-minded third tight end in veteran Billy Bajema or rookie Matt Furstenburg.

Harewood began the 2012 season as the Ravens starting left guard on the offensive line before falling out of favor and spending much of the season on the game-day inactive list. A restricted free agent this past offseason, he wasn’t offered a tender but instead re-signed on a one-year contract that included a reported $320,000 signing bonus.

Other cuts included wide receiver Tommy Streeter, running back Damien Berry, wide receiver Rashaad Carter, guard Jack Cornell, linebacker Bryan Hall, tackle David Mims, cornerback Moe Lee, defensive end Will Pericak, linebacker Meshak Williams, and wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard of Towson.

Hall shed upwards of 50 pounds this offseason after converting from defensive tackle. Originally an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas State, Hall spent his rookie season as a member of the Ravens’ practice squad in 2011 before making the 53-man roster as a defensive tackle last season. He was active for five regular-season games last year, collecting three tackles.

Streeter, a sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft, spent his rookie season on injured reserve with foot injury but never showed enough ability in practice to suggest he could be an NFL wideout and had fallen behind the likes of rookies Marlon Brown and Aaron Mellette on the depth chart.

The Ravens also placed linebacker Adrian Hamilton on injured reserve with a wrist injury, which is beneficial to their roster crunch at the linebacker position.

Baltimore announced the signing of quarterback Dayne Crist, which is nothing more than depth for Thursday’s preseason finale after backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor left the Carolina game to be evaluated for a possible concussion. Third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie and potentially Crist figure to receive extensive action against the St. Louis Rams.

Despite Tuesday being the deadline to go from 90 to 75, many teams will release select veterans a few days earlier than that to allow them to potentially catch on with another team. Baltimore released veteran cornerback Chris Johnson early last week.

Following Sunday’s announcements, the Ravens have 77 players on their preseason roster and will have to make a couple more moves, but those shouldn’t be surprising with offensive lineman Ryan Jensen, defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore, linebacker Jameel McClain, and tight end Dennis Pitta all dealing with long-term injuries at the moment.

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Ravens taking their time with Yanda’s return to practice field

Posted on 31 July 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Though linebacker Jameel McClain’s status remains in serious doubt, the Ravens once again expressed optimism Wednesday over the recovery of Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda.

Yanda has yet to take part in practice this summer after undergoing shoulder surgery earlier in the offseason. Coach John Harbaugh revealed the news of Yanda’s surgery during the team’s mandatory minicamp in mid-June and suggested at the time that the offensive lineman could be limited at the start of training camp.

Despite passing his physical late last week, Yanda remains on the active physically unable to perform list along with McClain, who still hasn’t been cleared for contact after suffering a spinal cord contusion last December. Yanda has increased his activity level, but Harbaugh wasn’t ready to pinpoint when we’ll see the seventh-year lineman take part in afternoon practices.

“I don’t want to put an exact date on it, but it will be in training camp pretty good,” Harbaugh said. “We aren’t in a rush with him. [He is] very much on schedule. He’s doing certain things. He does things in the morning. He goes through the morning workout. He goes through some individual stuff, so he’s practicing. He’s just not going through the contact stuff, but he’s doing very, very well.”

The expectation remains that Yanda will be ready long before the season opener against Denver on Sept. 5.

Offensive lineman Ramon Harewood remained sidelined on Wednesday after seeing a doctor because of continued swelling in his knee. According to Harbaugh, he will receive an injection to relieve some of the friction in hopes of getting him back on the practice field sooner rather than later.

Rookie cornerback Marc Anthony left the field with a left shoulder strain during practice that isn’t considered serious.

Other players not participating in Wednesday’s practice included offensive lineman Ryan Jensen (broken foot) and tight end Dennis Pitta (hip) as well as defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore (knee), who remains on the non-football injury list.

Returning to the practice field were wide receivers LaQuan Williams (arm), Tommy Streeter (heat-related sickness), and Marlon Brown (knee).

The returning Vonta Leach participated in his first workout of training camp after signing a two-year deal on Monday and walked onto the practice field with backfield partner Ray Rice.

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Osemele returns to practice field on limited basis Monday

Posted on 29 July 2013 by Luke Jones

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens saw a key member of their starting offensive line return to the practice field Monday as left guard Kelechi Osemele practiced for the first time since late last week.

The second-year lineman strained his right hamstring in the first full-squad workout of the summer on Thursday and was sidelined through the weekend. Only right guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) remains out of action among the projected five starters along the line, but the two-time Pro Bowl selection passed his physical over the weekend, a sure sign that he is moving closer to returning to practice after offseason shoulder surgery.

Osemele took part in a very limited capacity, only working during positional drills before sitting out the team portions of practice.

“It’s still early. We just want to make sure we have everybody healthy,” Osemele said after practice. “We don’t want to lose any of our starters right now. Today went well, it felt great. It was good to be out there with the guys again and get all the mental things going on.”

Others missing from Monday’s workout in Owings Mills included offensive linemen Ramon Harewood (knee) and Ryan Jensen (leg), wide receivers Tommy Streeter (heat-related), Marlon Brown (knee), and LaQuan Williams (arm), and linebacker Spencer Adkins (undisclosed).

According to The Sun, the sixth-round linemen Jensen suffered a broken foot and will undergo surgery to repair the damage. This development will presumably land the Colorado State-Pueblo product on season-ending injured reserve, which would be a convenient way for the Ravens to keep Jensen in the organization.

Linebacker Jameel McClain (neck) was absent and remains on the physically unable to perform list along with Yanda while rookie defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore (knee) was present but not working while remaining on the non-football injury list.

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata tweaked his knee during an 11-on-11 session at the end of practice, but coach John Harbaugh confirmed that it wasn’t a concern after the Pro Bowl lineman was seen flexing his left knee on the sideline. Ngata walked to the sideline gingerly after appearing to be rolled up by another player in the offensive backfield.

Tight end Dennis Pitta, of course, has been ruled out for the season after suffering a dislocated hip.

Inside linebacker Daryl Smith (groin) and fullback Kyle Juszczyk (foot) were both practicing despite being nicked up in Sunday’s workout.

Pitta MRI yields positive results

As the Ravens accept the reality of Pitta being lost for the season, an MRI on the tight end’s surgically-repaired dislocated hip revealed good news for his long-term prognosis in making it back to the field.

Harbaugh reiterated that nothing has changed in terms of Pitta being sidelined for the entire 2013 season, but he could begin the rehab process in six to eight weeks.

“Basically, the ball was pushed out of the socket and pushed backwards,” Harbaugh said. “It’s an injury that happens a lot of times in car accidents. He got his knee caught up under him in an awkward way when he fell. I think there are only eight documented cases of this injury in football that I’ve read about.”

With the memory of former Los Angeles Raiders running back Bo Jackson suffering a similar injury and developing avascular necrosis, which is the premature cellular death of bone components due to the interruption of blood supply. It resulted in Jackson needing to have his hip replaced, which ended his NFL career prematurely.

The vigilant decision to get Pitta to surgery and the details offered by Harbaugh provide a positive outlook that Pitta will be able to continue his career next season after an extensive rehab process in the coming months.

“The good news is that there’s a fracture, but it’s in the back part of the bone,” Harbaugh said. “It’s in the big part of the bone, and it’s a very tight fracture. So, it didn’t move at all. There’s no ligament damage, no cartilage damage. It’s a clean break if you want to use that term.”

Camp highlights

The starting defense continued the early-camp trend of dominating over the offense as quarterback Joe Flacco once again played behind a makeshift offensive line missing Yanda and Osemele. Jah Reid and Antoine McClain served as the first-team guards with Gino Gradkowski and A.Q. Shipley splitting time at the center position with the first unit.

Outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil put pressure on the Baltimore signal-caller several times as the offensive line struggled to hold up at the point of attack and receivers struggled to consistently gain separation.

One of the highlight plays of the afternoon came from rookie safety Matt Elam, who nearly intercepted a Flacco pass intended for Tandon Doss in the end zone while showing good athleticism to make a leaping deflection.

Tight end Ed Dickson made a sparkling 25-yard catch down the middle of the field for one of the lone offensive highlights of 11-on-11 drills.

Defensive players were rewarded with ice cream after winning Monday’s battle as two ice cream trucks drove onto the field in the closing minutes of the afternoon practice. Nose tackle Terrence Cody offered the memorable quote of the day to Osemele, using his best Forrest Gump voice while saying, “K.O., ice cream!”

The Ravens are off on Tuesday before returning to the field for a full-squad workout on Wednesday afternoon.

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Ngata, J. Smith, Kemoeatu return to practice; Reed downplays labrum injury

Posted on 18 October 2012 by Luke Jones

(Updated: 4:45 p.m.)

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Moving one day closer to a battle against the team with which they’re tied for the best record in the AFC, the Ravens saw three defensive starters return to the practice field on Thursday, including All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata.

Ngata was missing from practice during the portion open to reporters but was listed as a limited participant on Thursday’s injury report. The Pro Bowl defensive lineman missed Wednesday’s workout as he continued to rest a sprained MCL. He is still regarded as a good bet to play against the Houston Texans.

Cornerback Jimmy Smith (groin) and nose tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu (knee) were present and working for the portion of practice open to the media. Kemoeatu wore a bulky brace on his right knee as he walked onto the practice field.

Offensive lineman Ramon Harewood was a new absence for Thursday’s practice and wasn’t listed on the injury report for Wednesday. The 2010 sixth-round pick was benched last week after starting the first five games of the regular season and was replaced by veteran Bobbie Williams against Dallas.

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs was practicing for the second straight day and walked onto the field using a different doorway then Wednesday, once again toying with photographers and cameramen and preventing them from getting optimum shots.

Veteran safety Ed Reed was once again practicing Thursday despite revealing he’s been dealing with a torn labrum. He downplayed the significance of the injury and its impact on his ability to tackle.

“I’m not a pitcher. I don’t play baseball,” Reed said. “That’s something that we knew about. It’s nothing to worry about. It is what it is. The last few weeks, I have been dealing with it.”

Offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele had his right hand and wrist heavily wrapped as he began practicing on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph missed his second straight practice as he deals with a groin injury. The standout corner is expected to be a game-time decision for Sunday.

Here is Thursday’s official injury report …

BALTIMORE
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: T Ramon Harewood (head)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: DT Ma’ake Kemoeatu (knee), T Bryant McKinnie (thigh), DT Haloti Ngata (knee), CB Jimmy Smith (abs)

HOUSTON
DID NOT PARTICIPATE: CB Johnathan Joseph (groin)
LIMITED PARTICIPATION: NT Shaun Cody (back), S Quintin Demps (thumb/forearm), DE David Hunter (toe), OLB Jesse Nading (foot/neck), RB Ben Tate (toe)
FULL PARTICIPATION: OLB Bryan Braman (knee), G Antoine Caldwell (concussion), ILB Bradie James (calf), WR Lestar Jean (knee), C Ben Jones (knee), S Shiloh Keo (neck/back/thumb), C Chris Myers (hip), G Wade Smith (knee)

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Ravens-Cowboys: Inactives and pre-game notes

Posted on 14 October 2012 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Welcoming the Dallas Cowboys to Baltimore for the first time since the 2004 season, the Ravens look to continue their NFL-best 13-game winning streak at home on Sunday afternoon.

After three prime-time home games to begin the season, the Ravens were finally able to settle into their regular routine this week for Sunday afternoon games and will face a Dallas team coming off its bye. Baltimore is 3-0 all-time against the Cowboys, including a 2-0 mark at M&T Bank Stadium.

Veteran Bobbie Williams will start at left guard for the first time this season, replacing third-year lineman Ramon Harewood. The former Cincinnati Bengal was signed in early June with the expectation of starting along the Ravens offensive line, but the 36-year-old dealt with swelling in his right ankle that he fractured in December last season and the surprising Harewood beat him out at the end of the preseason.

Harewood was listed as one of the seven inactives prior to Sunday’s kickoff. With him and Jah Reid both listed as inactives, the Ravens will have only seven offensive linemen available against the Cowboys.

With tackles Michael Oher and Kelechi Osemele struggling with edge rushers, you have to wonder if veteran Bryant McKinnie will be the next veteran to regain his spot along the starting line should the pair struggle against Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware on Sunday. Through the first five weeks of the regular season, Williams and McKinnie had been relegated to spot duty and special teams.

In another sign of potential concern for their play at tackle, the Ravens have activated third tight end Billy Bajema, who could assist in run blocking and pass protection.

The Ravens surprisingly deactivated kick returner Deonte Thompson, who fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half last week. This likely means No. 3 wide receiver Jacoby Jones will return kicks against Dallas.

Meanwhile, the Dallas offensive line has struggled immensely this season as it’s been unable to open running lanes for Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (3.9 yards per carry) and consistently protect quarterback Tony Romo, who’s tied for third in the league with eight interceptions in only four games.

The Ravens are wearing purple jerseys with black pants while Dallas wears its white tops with silver pants.

The Baltimore defense will be introduced prior to Sunday’s game, but center Matt Birk will also be announced as he will play in his 200th NFL game.

Here are Sunday’s inactives …

BALTIMORE
G Ramon Harewood
WR Deonte Thompson
DL DeAngelo Tyson
LB Sergio Kindle
DL Bryan Hall
CB Asa Jackson
OL Jah Reid

DALLAS
LB Anthony Spencer
P Brian Moorman
WR Cole Beasley
S Matt Johnson
LB Orie Lemon
OL Ryan Cook
DT Marcus Spears

Follow WNST on Twitter as Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, and I bring live coverage and updates from M&T Bank Stadium throughout the day Sunday as the Ravens try to improve to 5-1 on the season.

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Harewood receives passing grades in first NFL game

Posted on 11 September 2012 by Luke Jones

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — After making his NFL debut and surprisingly starting at left guard for the Ravens on Monday night, Ramon Harewood admitted he wasn’t confident that he would even make the 53-man roster this summer.

It was only a natural reaction to everything the Barbados native had been through since being drafted in the sixth-round pick of the 2010 NFL draft. Already deemed a project long before knee and ankle surgeries landed him on injured reserve in each of the last two seasons, Harewood was simply thankful to finally be healthy enough to compete for a roster spot this summer.

“Sixth-round draft pick, IR two years, you drafted a tackle [Kelechi Osemele], you brought in Bobbie [Williams], Jah Reid was still there,” Harewood said. “Of course, there were thoughts [of being cut]. I really didn’t think about that until it was cut day to be honest with you. I just wanted to go out there and give it my best shot. I felt like as a man, if another man can do it, then so can I.”

Harewood’s path to becoming the starting left guard began coming into focus in the final preseason game against the St. Louis Rams. Though considered inconsequential at the time, the third-year lineman started at left guard as the Ravens rested their starters and Harbaugh shared with Harewood that the team wanted to take a look at him as an inside player.

He had never played guard prior to that contest in St. Louis, but he embraced an opportunity to show his versatility in hopes of making the 53-man roster.

“He’s an offensive lineman. He can bend,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a big guy with long arms who can bend and get leverage on defensive tackles. He’s done a good job with that.”

The Ravens liked what they saw as Harewood began practicing at left guard with the starting offensive line early last week but didn’t officially learn he would be the starter over the veteran Williams until the team’s final walk-through before Monday night’s game. The move raised plenty of eyebrows as many Ravens fans knew little about the Morehouse College product when he was introduced with the rest of the offensive starters before the game, but the early returns have been mostly positive on his performance against the Cincinnati defensive line.

Concerns had been raised about the health of Williams’ surgically-repaired ankle and Harewood provided a younger option. His 6-foot-6 height is above average for an interior lineman as some quarterbacks would have difficultly seeing over taller inside blockers, but the identical height of Joe Flacco makes that less of a concern.

“What he accomplished in the game was good,” coach John Harbaugh. “It was just the beginning for him. He’s got a lot of work to do. He knows it. We’ve got some depth on the offensive line now. That’s a good thing, so we’ll just kind of take it from there.”

Harbaugh remained non-committal about his offensive line moving forward, almost painting the illusion that the Ravens could mix and match different combinations based on game-planning against each opponent. It sounds like a baseball manager suggesting a scenario for a platoon between two ore more players, but it’s difficult envisioning such a strategy for an offensive line responsible for protecting the most important player on the field.

Along with Osemele at right tackle, Harewood provides youth and athleticism that Williams and former starting left tackle Bryant McKinnie do not as the Ravens are committed to the no-huddle attack. The uptempo style requires better conditioned offensive linemen, but it remains to be seen how well the new starting line holds up over the course of a 16-game schedule.

As was the case throughout the summer, the offensive line remains fluid and Harbaugh will not hesitate to make changes — conventional or unconventional — in the coming weeks. But the Ravens clearly hope the current younger group builds upon their impressive first act against the Bengals.

“We’re just going to have to see how that goes,” Harbaugh said. “We’ve got nine good players on the offensive line right now. That’s a real plus for us. They all bring different skill sets to the table. Where there are pluses for one group of guys or certain guys, there are other pluses for other guys that are positives. The fact that we’ve got a deep well right now is a plus. I anticipate all those guys playing extensively.”

After two seasons of waking up early to attend meetings and weight lifting sessions while knowing he wasn’t even allowed to take part in practices, Harewood isn’t taking the new-found prosperity for granted.

For a player who wasn’t even sure whether he would make the 53-man roster less than two weeks ago, Harewood will continue competing to prove that he belongs. He finally received a return for all that hard work on Monday night that no one could have reasonably expected.

“It felt pretty good,” Harewood said. “There’s a lot of room for improvement, but like I said, I just want to come out here and do my one-eleventh, my part on the offense, and I think I did that.”

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Ravens finalize moves to get down to 53-man roster

Posted on 31 August 2012 by WNST Staff

(Updated: 9:40 p.m.)

Here’s the full list of moves on Friday as the Ravens trim their roster down to 53:

The Baltimore Ravens made the following moves Friday, trimming their roster down to the NFL-mandated 53 active players:

 Waived the following players:

Players                             Pos.      Ht.        Wt.       Exp.   College

Allen, Anthony                RB         6-1        223       2        Georgia Tech

Brown, Omar                  S            5-11      195       R        Marshall

Bynes, Josh                      LB          6-1        240       1        Auburn

Carr, Nigel                       LB          6-2        247       R        Alabama State

Cornell, Jack                    G/T       6-6        320       R        Illinois

Graham, Dorian              WR        5-9        188       R        Syracuse

Howard, Cord                 G/T       6-4        314       2        Georgia Tech

Jean-Baptiste, Nicolas    NT         6-1        337       R        Baylor

Kitchen, Ishmaa’ily         NT         6-1        332       R        Kent State

McClain, Antoine            G           6-5        336       R        Clemson

Moore, Terrence             DE         6-3        290       R        Nebraska

Painter, Curtis                 QB         6-4        230       4        Purdue

Payne, Logan                   WR        6-2        205       3        Minnesota

Quarles, Cyhl                   S            6-3        212       R        Wake Forest

Williams, Chavis             OLB       6-3        240       2        Alabama

 

Terminated the contract of the following vested veteran:

Players                             Pos.      Ht.        Wt.       Exp.   College

Wragge, Tony                  G           6-4        310       8        New Mexico State

 

Placed the following players on Injured Reserve:

Players                             Pos.      Ht.        Wt.       Exp.   College                  Injury

Balasavage, Matt            TE          6-4        250       R        Temple                  Ankle

Berry, Damien                 RB         5-10      223       1        Miami                    Neck/Shoulder

Boren, Justin                   G/C       6-2        315       1        Ohio State             Foot

Brown, Ricky                   LB          6-2        235       7        Boston College     Head

Figgins, Bruce                  TE          6-4        278       R        Georgia                  Shoulder

Streeter, Tommy            WR        6-5        220       R        Miami                    Foot

________________

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Needing to pare down the roster to 53 players by 9 p.m. Friday, the Ravens have already begun making cuts as the team conducted a walk-through on Friday morning.

Rookie free-agent running back Bobby Rainey told WNST.net in a text message he has made the 53-man roster. The Western Kentucky product made quite an impression this summer and possesses ability as a returner to distinguish himself to be worthy of a roster spot.

And joning Rainey and kicker Justin Tucker as the third rookie free agent to make the roster, wide receiver Deonte Thompson told WNST.net he had earned a spot as the sixth wideout on the team.

As expected, cornerback Danny Gorrer has made the 53-man roster, according to a league source.

A league source confirmed to WNST.net that defensive tackle Bryan Hall has made the 53-man roster after an impressive preseason.

Offensive linemen Ramon Harewood and Tony Wragge have also made the team, according to a report from The Sun.

The Ravens have cut running back Anthony Allen as it was apparent he had fallen on the depth chart behind rookie free agent Bobby Rainey over the last couple weeks. The Sun first reported the 2011 seventh-round pick from Georgia Tech will be moving on from Baltimore.

Despite being a strong special teams performer and many suggesting he could make the team over Sergio Kindle, linebacker Chavis Williams has been cut and is a strong candidate for the Ravens’ practice squad should he not be picked up by another team, a league source confirmed. The news bodes well for Kindle, who struggled against St. Louis in the preseason finale.

News of quarterback Curtis Painter being cut came minutes after the 9 p.m. deadline as ESPN’s Adam Schefter revealed the Ravens will start the season with only two quarterbacks on the roster for the third straight year.

Another linebacker who gained much attention during organized team activities in the spring has also been cut as rookie free agent Nigel Carr will not be a part of the 53-man roster, a league source confirmed.

Safety Omar Brown and wide receiver Dorian Graham have been released, per league sources.

Offensive linemen Jack Cornell and Cord Howard and defensive linemen Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, and Terrence Moore have also been cut, according to The Sun.

As expected wide receiver Tommy Streeter will be placed on injured reserve with a foot injury, according to Pro Football Talk. A sixth-round pick in April’s draft, Streeter was not expected to be part of the 53-man roster, but his 6-foot-5 frame and good straight-line speed are intriguing measurables for the future.

Tight end Matt Balasavage will be placed on the waived-injured list and could be a candidate for the practice squad, per The Sun.

The Ravens also placed offensive lineman Justin Boren on injured reserve a league source confirmed.

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Ravens-Rams preseason primer: Five bubble players to watch

Posted on 30 August 2012 by Luke Jones

Trying to conjure up excitement for the preseason finale is an effort in vain, but don’t tell Ravens coach John Harbaugh that the game holds no importance.

While most starters aren’t expected to play against the St. Louis Rams Thursday night, the Ravens will provide a final opportunity to rookies and fringe veterans to stake their claim for a spot on the 53-man roster. For these players, this game will be as important as any they’ve ever played.

“We’re going to try to get as many reps as we can for the guys that we’re trying to determine their future,” Harbaugh said. “These guys work too hard out here to not give them every opportunity out there in a game situation to prove what they can do.”

Thursday marks the third preseason meeting between the Ravens and the Rams, with St. Louis holding a 2-0 edge. Baltimore leads the all-time regular-season series with a 3-2 advantage after winning 37-7 at the Edward Jones Dome last Sept. 25.

As is the case with every preseason game, the final score will be irrelevant, but Harbaugh and his coaching staff hope to take away enough information to make any final decisions that linger regarding who they’ll select to join the 2012 Ravens.

Those not making the cut will hope to land on the practice squad or with any of the other 31 NFL teams after Friday’s 9 p.m. deadline. For many, the vision of playing in the NFL will come to an end in less than 48 hours.

“This is their dream,” Harbaugh said. “There are a lot of guys that have an opportunity right now that are on the bubble to make this team. So, we’ve got decisions to make here and for other teams to take a look at. So, they’ve earned that, they deserve that, and that’s what we’ll do.”

Five bubble players to watch

1. CB Chykie Brown

Assumed to be the odd man out in a deep group of cornerbacks entering training camp, the second-year defensive back has shown improvement in coverage as well as special-teams ability as a gunner and on kick coverage to improve his standing for a roster spot. Brown has three tackles — and another on special teams — and a pass breakup in three preseason games.

Danny Gorrer and rookie Asa Jackson hold the advantage in the pecking order, but the Ravens like the potential of the 2011 fifth-round pick and would be hesitant to let him go because of his contributions on special teams. While keeping seven cornerbacks would appear to be excessive for most teams, the thin depth at safety will likely lead to veteran Corey Graham working more at free safety, thus improving Brown’s chances for a roster spot.

2. LB Sergio Kindle

After Kindle’s strong start in training camp, many began daydreaming that the 2010 second-round pick would finally begin realizing his potential after a fractured skull derailed his rookie season and left him virtually deaf in one ear. However, the big linebacker hasn’t shown much since then and suffered a shoulder stinger that kept him sidelined for the Ravens’ third preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kindle still doesn’t show great awareness and struggles to shed blocks when he’s stymied on his initial rush at the line of scrimmage, but coaches have complimented his work ethic and maintain that he’s come a long way. The lack of depth at outside linebacker will likely lead to the Texas product finding his way onto the 53-man roster, but Kindle will need to improve as a special teams player and show more at linebacker to remain in Baltimore long-term. A strong performance against the Rams would definitely allow Kindle to sleep better before final cuts are made Friday.

3. OT Ramon Harewood

After landing on injured reserve in each of his first two years with the Ravens, Harewood has remained relatively healthy this summer and has shown improvement after struggles during organized team activities and the early portion of camp. A 2010 sixth-round pick from tiny Morehouse College, the Barbados native is still relatively new to the game of football, but his 6-foot-6, 334-pound frame and athleticism were attractive features the Ravens waited patiently to develop.

Harewood still doesn’t play with as much strength as his size suggests he should, but the uncertainty with reserve tackle Jah Reid’s injured calf may lead the Ravens to keep him on the roster for now. Rookie Kelechi Osemele has worked more extensively at left guard while competing with veteran Bobbie Williams in recent weeks, so the coaching staff may elect to take a ninth offensive lineman, which would open the door for Harewood.

4. DE DeAngelo Tyson

The seventh-round pick of April’s draft got off to a slow start this summer, but Tyson has shown glimpses of impressive athleticism and has collected four tackles and a sack this preseason. Coaches have noted his improvement, and the Georgia product has ideal size (6-foot-2 and 310 pounds) for the defensive end spot in a 3-4 alignment.

Tyson’s chances for a roster spot improved when veteran Ryan McBean suffered a season-ending ankle injury, but he would likely be the seventh defensive lineman the Ravens would keep if he lands on the favorable side of the bubble. A strong performance in St. Louis would narrow the gap with 2011 practice squad member Bryan Hall, who has shown the ability to pressure the quarterback from the interior. The organization never likes giving up on its draft picks this soon, but waiving a seventh-rounder would be far from uncommon.

5. S Omar Brown

Nothing about Brown’s measurables are impressive, but the rookie free agent from Marshall has shown an uncanny nose for the football in recovering three fumbles and grabbing an interception in the first three preseason games. At 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, Brown doesn’t have great size as a safety and lacks speed — running the 40-yard dash in only 4.7 seconds — but secondary coach Teryl Austin and defensive coordinator Dean Pees have complimented his instincts in the defensive backfield.

The season-ending injury to Emanuel Cook and concussion concerns with veteran Sean Considine have left the Ravens vulnerable at the safety position with only the raw fourth-round selection Christian Thompson behind starters Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard. This has allowed Brown to earn more consideration for a roster spot when he was likely regarded as little more than a long shot a couple weeks ago. However, the veteran cornerback Graham’s ability to slide over to safety makes it more difficult for Brown, meaning the practice squad might be a realistic destination for him. It also wouldn’t be surprising to see the Ravens pursue another veteran option if Considine’s recovery from a concussion drags out much longer.

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Morgan Football Players Participating in All-Star Game

Posted on 14 December 2011 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, Md. — A pair of Morgan State football seniors will appear in the third annual HBCU All-Star Bowl this weekend.
Tight end Lamont Bryant and defensive end Zary Stewart are scheduled to play at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The game will include players from HBCUs from both the Division I and II levels. There are 43 players who were selected to play from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
Bryant was the lone Moran State player on the 2011 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference all-conference first team, while Stewart finished as a second team selection.
Bryant, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound senior from Newport News, Va., grabbed five passes for 55 yards as a junior in 2010, had a breakout year in 2011 with 21 receptions, 371 receiving yards and two touchdowns. His receptions yardage was the best this season for a tight end in the conference.
Stewart, an Upper Marlboro, Md. product, was a relentless pass rusher for the Bears this season. The 6-4, 260-pounder was ranked No. 6 in the MEAC in sacks (6), T-No. 8 in tackles for loss (13) and completed the season with 44 tackles (28 solo).
The players will have the chance to work out for professional scouts from all levels in a combine-style setting, then compete against their contemporaries in the all-star game.
The 2011 game will be broadcast live by Herb FM from the Georgia Dome, with Christopher Heidel and Steve Zulich doing the play by play at http://www.live365.com/stations/herbtmproductions?site=pro.
In the Bowl’s three year history, professional scouts from the NFL, CFL, UFL, and Arena Football have attended the HBCU All-Star Bowl to evaluate the quality of HBCU players available. The bowl week kicks-off with a one day Official Combine administered by National Football Scouting, of Indianapolis, Indiana. Along with the combine, the bowl week schedule includes practices and player interviews with professional teams. The week also includes player hospital visits, a life skills session, financial advisor seminar and entertainment weekend events.
The 2011 NFL Draft weekend resulted with a total of three HBCU Football players from the 2010 HBCU All-Star Bowl game that were drafted: South Carolina State OL J.C. Culbreath – Detroit Lions, Alabama A&M DL Frank Kearse – Miami Dolphins and Florida A&M CB Curtis Holcomb to the San Francisco 49ers were all drafted in the seventh round. A record total number of thirty-five (35) players from the 2010 HBCU All-Star Bowl signed NFL free agent contracts.
The 2010 NFL Draft produced (2) two HBCU draft picks with Morehouse OL Ramon Harewood going to the Baltimore Ravens and Phillip Adams going to the San Francisco 49ers. (16) sixteen HBCU Football Student Athletes signed free-agent agreements. Each of these eighteen (18) players were participants in the 2009 Russell Athletic HBCU Bowl.
For more information go to www.hbcubowl.com.

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